Style + Weight Loss: Why You Shouldn't Wait
One of the most common questions I get from women considering personal styling is whether they should wait until they lose weight to invest in a new wardrobe. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients at all stage of weight loss so I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t.
The interesting thing about style and weight loss is they tend to reinforce one another. If we don’t feel amazing about our bodies and we avoid buying clothes, showing up in life becomes twice as overwhelming. I’ve had clients tell me they’ve avoided attending social events, dating, and looking for a new job because they didn’t want to buy clothes at their current weight. The problem with this mindset is it keeps us stuck. The size on a tag means nothing. No one can see the tag. Yet, how we feel about ourselves can be very apparent to those around us by how we decide to take care of ourselves through our style choices.
I’ve also had clients contact me at the start of their fitness and wellness journeys to build wardrobes that supported them in reaching the smaller goals they needed to hit to make their bigger weight loss goal. These are the clients I’ve seen be the most successful at not only losing weight but keeping it off for years to come.
Ok, now onto the best strategies for building a wardrobe while navigating weight loss.
If you’re planning on losing weight…
If you aren’t at your ideal weight, I urge you to not let this be the reason you opt out of finding your personal style. Maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes right now. That’s ok. Looking for style inspiration costs nothing. Begin to build new pieces that you’re excited about into your wardrobe slowly. These pieces don’t have to be expensive. They do have to fit the body you have now. Even if you buy lower priced pieces be sure to also set some money aside to work with a tailor. Tailoring is the fastest method I know of to help clients improve their body image and to make inexpensive items look expensive. When clothes fit your unique body shape you always look thinner and your proportions look more balanced.
I’ve worked with dozens of clients who have used a capsule wardrobe as a stepping off point for exploring their style without a huge investment. And, a funny thing has happened in almost every one of these cases. When a client stopped waiting to feel good about themselves they found the motivation to begin to take other steps towards feeling their best.
If you’re actively trying to lose weight...
By “actively” trying to lose weight I mean there is a plan in place that you’re working on. It’s ok if it’s not perfect or you struggle with staying on track some days (who doesn’t?). The key thing is that your weight loss isn’t something you’re planning on getting to some day. It’s your reality today.
Before a client who is in the process of losing weight and I work together, we talk about their style goals and explore their personal style preferences. These may change as the client loses more weight so I check in again around this as we work together.
As the client goes down a size or two we begin to integrate that style into their everyday wardrobe by creating a foundation of solid basics (a uniform of sorts) and then add elements of their unique personal style strategically. We do this piece by piece with the client’s budget in mind. Clients going through this process use a tailor pretty regularly to cut down on continuously investing in high quality basics. I usually call this process building a “bridge wardrobe” between sizes (think of it as a smaller capsule wardrobe). This is also a very effective process for helping new moms find their style when they are about to go back to work.
If you’ve lost the weight…
Sticking to any goal long enough to reach your desired result is a big deal and you should be so proud of yourself.
What’s interesting about clients who I’ve worked with that have achieved their weight loss goals is that there can sometimes be a feeling of overwhelm that they didn’t expect when it comes to getting dressed and shopping at their new size.
This feeling of overwhelm actually makes a lot of sense. When you’re losing weight you’re focused on your goal so you don’t invest much time in the different stages your body goes through along the way. Then, one day, you consistently have a new body but you have very little experience dressing it. Some clients who have experienced major weight loss are suddenly able to shop in stores they weren’t able to previously. This adds to their overwhelm. Most clients at this stage of their journey are excited to invest in their wardrobe but don’t because they are intimidated by all the options out there and are unsure how to dress their new shape.
Clients who recently experienced significant weight loss (two sizes or more) typically do a seasonal update package twice in one year to build a quality wardrobe for all four seasons at their new weight. This wardrobe usually last for two to three years before they’re ready for a smaller refresh.
One of the most basic acts we all have to take everyday is getting dressed. Punishing ourselves by avoiding wearing clothes that make us feel good makes it really hard to feel motivated and inspired to make changes in all areas of our lives. Learning how to dress for our shape (notice I said shape not weight) and express our personal style every single day is a right we all have regardless of what the scale says. If you want a partner to help guide you navigate it all, I'm here.
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